Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Empire's Screwing With My Mind

I’m beginning to think the Empire is out to get me, personally.

I mean, from every possible viewpoint, it seems to me that it’s deliberately screwing with my mind.

Like, look at me. As a far left wing godless atheist commie of no spiritual leanings whatsoever, you’d expect that I’d be naturally anti-Taliban, right? As an author who’s written stories and (if I do say so myself) a damned good play mocking the Taliban, you’d think I’d be anti-Taliban, right?


Well, just you see what the damned Empire has done to me. I’m beginning to support the Taliban.

                                                                    Oh my badness

Try to understand why I’m saying this. I’m, despite what anyone might think, not exactly a supporter of what’s commonly called “terrorism”; and I have, unlike 99% of the people reading this, actually seen terrorists in action, even interviewed a former terrorist for my first novel. I’ve seen what havoc it can create. But the Empire has screwed up my perceptions so much that I’ve begun to believe that what the Taliban are doing is not terrorism.

Just look at life from the viewpoint of a common Afghan villager.

He’s got a country occupied by a hated foreign army, one whose troops break into his house when they feel like it, abuse his women, kill his sons, and cut off their fingers for trophies.

Flying high over his head, he’s got drones piloted by bored CIA men sitting in safety in their luxurious bunkers in Langley or wherever, drones which can blast him to pieces with a Hellfire missile for the crime of “looking like a possible hostile”, without fear of retribution.

He’s got a government he didn’t choose to be placed over him, a government so corrupt that it ranks as the worst in the world after Somalia, which has no functioning government at all, comprising warlords who can kidnap and rape his daughter if they feel like it, drug barons who build opulent homes on the hillside while his children starve, corrupt contractors who use the money that should go to help him to line their own pockets, CIA stooges who can drag him off to jail and waterboard him because he might know something about the local insurgency, and people who make all of these look almost savoury.

He lives in a country where he doesn’t know what will happen to him and his an hour from now, let alone tomorrow. He lives in a country where everything is corrupt, from the judiciary to the police to the people at the local hospital.

Except whom? Except, you got it, the local village youth whom he’s known all his life, who have now grown beards, put on black turbans, and spend the night hours creepy-crawling the highways shooting up the hated occupier and the hated occupier’s even more hated stooges. Why shouldn’t he support them? In his place, wouldn’t you?

Then, look at the Taliban from a non-ideological viewpoint for the moment. Forget that they are Islamofascist evildoers if you can, and just consider the idea of illiterate villagers in flip flops fighting the world’s strongest ever military to a standstill. How does that make you feel?

I’ll tell you how it makes me feel. Pretty damned good, that’s what.

After all, here we have an Asian force beating the World Hegemon, The Eternal Empire, to a bloody pulp, just as the Vietnamese did back before I was even born. Here we have Asians, like me, and with far less education than me, fighting back against an Empire which (going by its actual actions) thinks Asians, Latin Americans and Africans have no rights or privileges except to be useful vassals of the Empire.

Just look how the Empire reacts when the illicit ethnic-European regime in Jerusalem bombs the bejesus out of Gaza, also known as the world’s largest concentration camp, and tries to starve it to submission. Think of how the Empire coddled the apartheid regime in Pretoria. And then think of how the Empire’s general claims Afghans burn their own children to give the Empire a bad name.

We Asians were meant to be cannon-fodder, just like all the other lesser breeds without the democratic, or in this case Democratic, law. I'm right, aren't I?

But the Taliban – they’ve turned the cannon-fodder to cannon.

Oh, but there’s the other problem. I’m a feminist too, and the Taliban have the horrible anti-woman agenda on, haven’t they? Well, yes, I’m no more a fan of the idea of women being shot between the goalposts during football matches than you are. But at the same time, the other side, the people the Empire supports and coddles, are if anything even worse than the Taliban (who are still ignorant village louts even though the word “talib” means “student”). A Talib who bombs a girl’s school probably knows no better. A Saudi prince who spends his vacations in London but has women arrested for stepping out of doors without a male relative’s written permission or for daring to drive a car has no such excuse.

And I also remember that during the Taliban’s worst repressive times, between 1996 and 1998, they were in the Empire’s good books, just as Saddam Hussein was while he was gassing all those Kurds. When President Najibullah was castrated and hanged by the Taliban, guess which country made a point of not condemning the murder?

Well, yes, I do hate the friggin’ Empire. First they set up the damned bad guys and then they force me to root for them.

The Empire has it in for me, I tell you.


  1. There is always a third option c) neither of the above.

  2. Living in the heart of the Empire, I can tell you that the news here is sanitized; we're expected to root for the Empire's troops - or we're damned to hell by Fundies of another stripe (Christian Fundies) - who, on balance, aren't much different than the Taliban Fundies of the Muslim persuasion.

    When we bring up the fact that 'ears and noses are the trophies of the day' (a line from one of my favorite films), we find out that the Empire does its best to keep that news on page three of the local fishwrap, and out of the broadcast media as much as possible.

    We also learn that our flavor of Fundie actually thinks it's a good idea.

    We live in a crazy world, Bill....

  3. Destroying bamiyan Buddha gave you goosebumps too ?

    Oh you eagerly searching for pride, Asian - what really has Taliban or Asia given to the world collectively (science arts thought) in comparison to the "right" world, if I may ask?

    1. You do know that the Taliban initially protected the Bamiyan Buddhas under the direct orders of Mullah Omar, and as late as 2000 was asking for UN assistance to protect them? Or are you aware that they only destroyed them in 2001 after finding that UN funds were to go to protecting statues but not to combat drought and famine in Afghanistan?

      You don't?

      Well, if your source of information is only the Empire's drivel, I don't blame you.

  4. If you can, with all your intelligence , look at all the facts and figures (biased unbiased ) - and still form such strong opinions, against or in favour of either of these parties

    Then I do blame you.


    This is not intelligence.

  5. I get my information from a variety of sources. Including your blog. Not to mention the MSM picture of American president Ronald Reagan (aka Ray-gun) entertaining Taliban members at the White House. So, yeah, they set up the bad guys. Then, when convenient, they call them the bad guys and try to get us to hate them. And kill them.

    I did not know about the Bamiyan Buddhas, thank you for that. And thank you for your continuing articles on the situation in the region most Americans call the "Middle East". As you well know, I do not always agree with you, but this article, which I stumbled upon, presents a perspective Americans would do well to consider. But most won't.

    Well-written as always.

    1. That picture showed Reagan entertaining the Mujahideen, not the Taliban. The Taliban only came into existence circa order to fight the Mujahideen.


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